Can a Homeowner Be Held Liable for Burn Injuries in Wisconsin?
Even with modern heating systems and functioning smoke detectors, residential house fires still occur all too regularly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), nearly 400,000 residential fires occurred in 2017 throughout the United States. Cooking accidents, faulty heating systems, and electrical malfunctions account for the majority of household fires. As colder temperatures settle in, and property owners start to use more electrical devices, the risk of fires and burns may increase. Although heating systems can be essential, it is important to understand the potential risks that can result from carelessness or malfunctioning systems. Accidental fires can lead to serious burn injuries, including respiratory distress and skin trauma. If you or a family member have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence, working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a case to seek compensation.
Causes of Burn Injuries
Burn afflictions can result in pain, disfigurement, permanent nerve damage, or wrongful death for the victim. According to USFA, there are four main causes of burns:
- Thermal burns: Can result from heat sources such as flames or steam.
- Chemical burns: Occur when a chemical comes in contact with skin.
- Electrical burns: Occur when electric current flows through a body.
- Radiation burns: Can result from prolonged exposure to radioactive materials.
While it is unlikely that a person would experience a radiation burn at someone’s home, thermal burns, chemical burns, and electrical burns can all occur in residential settings. A property owner may be liable if a visitor to their home sustained a burn injury due to the owner’s negligence. For example, the homeowner may be responsible if he or she knew about a faulty electrical device but did not remedy the situation.
Severity of a Burn Injury
The extent of a burn affliction can affect the amount of damages that a victim may be able to recover in a personal injury claim. A burn injury will be classified as either a first, second, or third-degree burn. First-degree burns are mild, while third-degree burns are the most serious, and they can be life-threatening. It is important to speak to a medical professional to determine the magnitude of a burn injury, the treatments that will be required, and the ways it will affect your life.
Seeking Compensation for Burn Injuries
In the state of Wisconsin, a person who sustains a burn injury due to another person’s carelessness or negligence may file a personal injury lawsuit. Burn victims may seek compensation for damages including pain and suffering, medical expenses, emotional distress, and loss of income.
Contact an Appleton Burn Injury Lawyer
Even if there is enough evidence to file a lawsuit, the case must be filed within Wisconsin’s three-year statute of limitations. An experienced personal injury attorney can help a burn victim determine whether or not he or she should move forward with a civil suit. If you or a family member have sustained a burn injury due to another person’s carelessness, you should seek legal advice. The knowledgeable team at Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can help you identify your best options for receiving compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, contact a Green Bay personal injury attorney at 920-739-7366.